An NYC Fund Giant May Shift South
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Friday, October 13, 2017

An NYC Fund Giant May Shift South

A big New York City mutual fund shop may soon be shifting south.

AllianceBernstein (AB) chief Seth Bernstein is considering moving some staff out of its Big Apple headquarters to Charlotte, North Carolina or San Antonio, Texas, the Wall Street Journal reports. The paper predicts that the moves probably won't be done until the end of next year.

The news comes about half a year after AB parent Axa brought in Bernstein to replace longtime AB chief Peter Kraus. Shortly after that leadership change, Axa publicly laid out plans to IPO its U.S. businesses in 2018 — the U.S. businesses include Axa's 60 percent stake in AB.

AB's midtown Manhattan HQ has 992,043 square feet of space, though AB only uses about 40 percent of that and sublets out the rest. AB's worldwide headcount is 3,438, mostly in NYC (in the HQ, plus two other NYC spots and one in White Plains), Hong Kong, and London ̵ the article does not reveal how many of those 3,438 AB employees are in the New York area.

Charlotte is a possible growth spot for AB as Axa is already investing $18 million there and more than doubling its local headcount there within the next five years. As for San Antonio, AB already has an office there. Both Charlotte and San Antonio have lower office rents and lower costs of living than New York.

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